Attention LWVFL Members,
If you’re upset about voting rights under attack in states like Georgia, take a look at what is happening right here in Florida. Restrictive voting legislation is alive and moving through the session in SB 90 and HB 7041. LWVFL President Patti Brigham has called upon all of us to live up to our mission – defend democracy – and educate our communities about these bills and what they will do to voting if they are passed.
In order to do so, we wanted to provide you with resources to utilize in your quest to educate and inform. Please see below for digital tools, as well as talking points to use.
- LWVFL press conference regarding SB 90 and HB 7041 (downloadable for use)
- LWVFL Lunch & Learn with speaker Eliza Sweren-Becker from the Brennan Center of Justice about restrictive voting legislation moving in Florida and across the nation (downloadable for use; presented on March 26, 2021)
- CNN New Day interview featuring LWVFL President Patti Brigham and Lake County Supervisor of Elections and Former State Senator Alan Hayes
● We had a near-perfect election in Florida in 2020. Those who won (mostly Republicans) were happy, and even those who lost (mostly Democrats) had no complaints about the process itself. Statewide turnout, at 77%, was as high as it has been in 65 years, in part because nearly six million Floridians signed up to vote by mail.There was no cheating, fraud, or problems with voter rolls. Vote counting went well and was quick. All of it was validated by careful audits and recounts
● These oppressive election laws are aimed at disenfranchising People of Color and would disproportionately impact communities of color. This legislation is in response to the high minority turnout in the 2020 election. Black and Brown people have fought for decades to gain access to the ballot box, and let’s be clear, any regressive legislation that seeks to turn back the clock should be soundly defeated. We will continue to push back against unnecessary laws. We will continue to fight for access to the ballot box. Jim Crow will not return!
● Instead of money going towards the unnecessary measures in these bills, these funds could instead be used to make voting easier by adding early voting locations or additional drop boxes, ensuring voters have resources in their first language, and providing voter education and outreach to communities who have less access to voting.
● SB 90 would eliminate drop boxes altogether while HB 7041 will likely create lines and hurdles for many voters with strict new ID requirements.
● Both bills will impact seniors and voters with disabilities by severely limiting who can serve as a designees to drop off vote-by-mail ballots (VBM).
● Rather than erecting new hurdles to VBM, lawmakers should focus on improving the process for voters by:
○ Adding additional time to return & cure VBM ballots
○ Create better tracking & reporting requirements for drop box usage
○ Institute more uniform procedures for signature matching and ballot cures
● Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy but faces attack across the nation – more than 250 bills in 43 states have been filed to limit voting. This is voter suppression.
● States legislators in Georgia, Arizona, Ohio, and others have taken aim at voting reforms brought on by the pandemic, and are intent at rolling back vital progress for voters.
● At a time when our state is still grappling with the most significant public health emergency in our lifetime–COVID-19–legislators seem to think “fixing” a stable and effective election system in Florida is their top priority.
● These proposals are not Florida solutions for Florida problems. Instead, they must be viewed as a return, in fact, an amplification of the Jim Crow South.
We encourage you to speak out about these voter suppression bills on your platforms: social media, meetings you attend, groups you are a part of. Ask community organizations if you can speak to them. Tell your friends. We must be educating our communities about what is happening because, as League members, it is our mission to empower voters. If this legislation passes, voters’ rights are denied. Let’s make it easier to vote, not harder. LWVLF is here to help. We are using your voice to be heard in Tallahassee. Please use the resources here to amplify the message to your communities. Let’s protect our vote!
Leah Nash, Executive Director